I am no stranger to the devastating effects of being wounded by both an abusive and elusive father. I have had three fathers in my life: my biological father (of whom I’ve never met), my mother’s first husband, and my mother’s second husband whose last name I now bear.
One by one, the fathers who were once present in my life began to disappear. The concept of fatherlessness was very real to me, it was a dark space in my soul where hope previously had not broken through. In my life, I had experienced fatherlessness three-times over.
As I became older and was blessed to begin a family of my own, God made it abundantly clear that my fathers were really no different than me. They were sinful, misguided and broken—but I need Jesus just as much as they do. Eventually, this attitude turned my grumbling into gratitude—I learned to forgive. Additionally, I vowed to allow for the darkness of my past to provide the backdrop for a stark, brightly lit contrast of hope I could now display for my own son through real fatherhood.
It was around the same time our son was born was when I began writing and recording my new album Tomorrow We Live. My definition of a truly successful musical album is one that leaves a lasting, indelibly positive mark, regardless of chart positions and sales.
My main goal for this project was to establish an underlying message of hope for listeners. Before I could truthfully relay hope to others, however, I felt that I first had to have a hope deep inside of me.
This was a time for me to make music, but also a time to face the music.
From a reassuring confidence, I decided to tackle the last chapter of my fatherless saga. I wanted to meet the man responsible for the very DNA that is running through my body. I wanted to find my biological father.
Despite impending odds, I decided to pursue my search for him via a private investigator. After a month’s time, the trail turned up cold. As the detective described it, my father apparently “fell off the face of the earth around 1990.”
After several more months, I had all but given up on finding any evidence, when suddenly information leading to the discovery of my father began to surface. To my dismay, we found that he was murdered shortly after I was born. After the news settled, I sought after the Lord and began to find beauty in the hope of my Heavenly Father. In Matthew 3:17, it states that after Jesus came up out of the baptismal water, the voice of the Holy Spirit said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Although I will never have the chance to hear my earthly father utter those words to me, my hope is found in my Heavenly Father. Regardless of prior wounds, hope heals and it makes us stronger. It is with this hope I victoriously rise from the pains of fatherlessness. Through Jesus Christ, I now have the freedom to love my son unashamedly, and passionately be the father figure for him that I never had.